Yeronga State School has a strong connection to the ANZACs and paying respect through ceremonies and laying of wreaths to help remember and honour the many Australians and New Zealanders who served and died during all wars.

With the commemorative, tree lined Honour Avenue bordering the school and the Cenotaph Memorial within close proximity, we have an ongoing reminder of the ANZACs and their service to our country.

The following information details some of this history and has been reproduced with permission from Dr Richard Walding from his site indicatorloops.com. The site has further interesting information regarding the Yeronga Memorial Park and the Cenotaph Memorial.

YSS HONOUR BOARD

The caption reads “Unveiling the Honour Board, May 4th 1918. The steps lead up to the Headmaster’s Office which is the small ante-room in the middle of the photo.
(YSS P&C)
Unveiling of the Honour Board at Yeronga State School – 4th May 1918 (YSS P&C)

On Anzac Day 1918, the Yeronga State School Honour Board Committee commissioned a memorial to the old boys of the school who enlisted in WW1, many of whom died while serving. The honour board was made of iron with brass mountings. The names of over 100 boys were etched in black letters on the brass plates on the board. On the top of the names was a British lion and a kangaroo resting on and protecting the Union Jack, and on each side of this was the Australian Army insignia of a “Rising Sun”. A model of an Australian soldier appeared on each side.

The honour board was placed on display in the window of John Clarke Kenyon’s menswear shop at 170 Queen Street for all of May. Mr Kenyon and his wife Isabella lived at “Hillcrest” at 81 Park Road Yeronga on the corner of Christensen St and Park Road directly opposite the school. They lost their son Les at Gallipoli on 8th August 1915 during an action against Turkish forces. The honour board was unveiled by the Governor on Saturday 4th May, at the school. It was mounted in the foyer of School’s office.


ANZAC DAY WREATHS

Yeronga State School children marking Anzac day with wreaths along Honour Ave to the memorial on the hill, Thursday 24th April 1924. The following day was a public holiday. Source: Brisbane Courier Friday 25th April 1924, page 8.

This ceremony has been going on since then and continues today. I [RW] recall when I was a student at Yeronga State School from 1955 to 1962, every year (from Grades 3 to 8) we would bring to school wreaths in the form of circles, crosses or the letter “A” and they would be displayed outside our classrooms for everyone to see. Students were allowed to visit each other’s rooms to admire the various designs (some home-made, some shop-bought). After morning tea we would march through the side gate to ‘our’ tree in Honour Avenue. Generally we kept the same tree each year. We would lay our wreaths beside the tree and observe a minute’s silence before admiring everyone else’s arrangements and returning to school.

The Brisbane City Council would come around the next morning to remove all the wreaths and cards – and incinerate them. I would sometimes sneak up early and take mine home. Once, when I was in Grade 4, I had a particularly good wreath. It wasn’t the usual sort my mum made from our own garden; it was fancy red crepe paper one she brought home from her work at James Campbell & Sons. It had a purple ribbon with yellow writing. I thought it was so marvellous I wanted to keep it from the fire. I was caught by a teacher who sent a Grade 8 boy to grab me but I struggled free and ran home along Park Road with my wreath.

Wreath-laying by Yeronga State School students – Friday 24th April 1925. The cenotaph is clearly visible at the end of the straight road that is Honour Avenue. This photo was taken from outside the Park Road gates. You can see the wreath around the Sovereign’s Orb that adorned the top of the left gate post. The first row of children (between weeping figs) marks soldiers Les Kenyon (left) and Jack Rigby (right). The second row (flame trees) is for John Fairlie and Marshall Jury, and so on up the Avenue. This photo clearly establishes that the Avenue was straight and that the curve was put in it after 1925. (YSS P&F)

and 90 years to the day later…………

At the Centenary of Anzac service at Yeronga State School on Friday 24 April 2015, a wreath was placed on the Park Road gates.
In 2012, students of Yeronga State School placed flowers beside the trees in Honour Avenue as they have done yearly since 1924.They were placed here during their Anzac Day service on Tuesday 24th April 2012 and were still there the following day during the public Anzac Day service in the park.
A student has placed flowers on the granite plaque commemorating Pte William Temple of the 3rd Bn Pioneers who died in Belgium on 23 July 1917 aged 22.Simple offerings of flowers by each student has been a hallmark of the Yeronga State School commemoration.Most of the flowers come from the students’ home garden. Rarely do you find any elaborate wreaths or flower arrangements.
Students from Yeronga State School Year 2M class place flowers around a weeping fig (tree #18) in Honour Avenue on Tuesday 24th April 2012.Accompanied by their teacher Ms Kerri McGuire, the students bow their heads in memory of Private Norman Freeman, 55th Batallion, who died in France on 22nd July 1916, age 25.
A student from 1925 with her wreath ready to lay in Honour Avenue. (YSS P&C)Year 2M students carry a wreath to the memorial in Yeronga Park – 24 April 2012.Here they are placing the wreath at the school memorial.

YERONGA STATE SCHOOL MEMORIAL

This memorial is in the grounds of Yeronga State School – just beside Honour Avenue

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